Another Prague bridge has been slated for demolition.
It’s a recurring theme in 2018. After the Troja Pedestrian Bridge collapsed late last year, dozens of other bridges were scheduled for reevaluation.
That has left Prague’s Libeň Bridge, a major connection between Holešovice and Libeň, closed for much of this year as city officials decide whether to demolish or restore it (in either instance, a replacement bridge is likely to be constructed at the same location).
Now, another Prague bridge has been deemed irreparable: the Vyšehrad Railway Bridge, which connects the Výtoň embankment in Prague 2 with Smíchov in Prague 5.
Because of the Bridge’s raised elevation and unique steel beam design, it has long been a favorite among photographers and pedestrians in central Prague.
But like the Libeň Bridge, the Vyšehrad Railway Bridge has been closed to foot traffic for much of this year as inspectors from the Czech Railway Infrastructure Administration reassessed its structural integrity. The results of their findings were released to the public yesterday.
“The existing steel structure is virtually irreparable for the prospective operation of rail transport,” Railway spokesperson Kateřina Šubová told iDnes.cz.
Any repair efforts would need to replace more than two-thirds of the existing structure, a rescue operation that would only prolong the bridge’s lifespan by an additional 30 years.
After their findings, the Czech Railway Infrastructure Administration has recommended that the Railway Bridge be demolished and a new one erected in (or near) its place. A newly-constructed bridge should have a lifespan of 100 years.
The original Vyšehrad Railway Bridge was erected in 1871-2, and replaced in 1901. It has stood relatively unchanged since that time.
While some citizens have already begun to protest the recommended demolition, the Vyšehrad Railway Bridge is unlikely to be granted landmark status that would preserve it, which may still be an option for the Libeň Bridge.
Due to the bridge’s prominent place in the central Prague panorama, city planners hope to construct a replacement that recreates the look of the current bridge.